Edinburgh Fringe Review – Josh Howie: AIDS: A Survivor’s Story

Every year someone seems to challenge for the mantle of edgiest show title. The fact that this is not a one man play, but comedy, says it all. If Josh Howie comes back next year, his show might be titled, ‘Sheer Arrogance: A Survivors Story.’ This might just be one of the bravest shows at this year’s Fringe, not for the reasons the title suggests, but fortunately one of the funniest if you can enter the door at the Cannonsgait and leave your ideas of morality for an hour.

Somewhat incredibly most of the audience remained for what is a relentless satire on all things AIDS, with no angle seemingly without reproach.  Howie plays it fairly straight, which helps deliver the punchiness somewhat more subtly as he goes through the history of catching AIDS, facts about AIDS, charts of scale as to the chances how likely he might have caught AIDS, as I mention, relentless. There is a danger of this being smug but he keeps it at bay and thus a majority of the audience stay with him.

Whilst it might be five stars for bravery, it’s not the most original and some of the material feels like it’s been heard of before, and repeatedly hearing  AIDS, AIDS, AIDS becomes quite overbearing. Nevertheless if you’re looking for a really dark, edgy, sick  and ballsy show that will satisfy all your crude sensibilities, then Howie nails it. Certainly gave me some of the biggest and longest laughs at the Fringe so far.


Chris Aitken


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